Former President Donald Trump took time at his rally over the weekend in Waco, Texas to glorify the cause of the January 6 insurrectionists who attacked the U.S. Capitol, playing a video in defense of them.
But many Senate Republicans are calling it out as a bridge too far, reported NBC News.
"Some disagreed with his judgment in playing a video that exalts those who took part in the attack on the Capitol and were arrested, rejecting the narrative in pro-Trump circles that the rioters were 'peaceful' protesters. Other Republicans said it is an unwise political strategy for Trump to focus on the attempted insurrection as he seeks a comeback bid in 2024," reported Sahil Kapur and Scott Wong. "'People who violated the law should be prosecuted. And they have been,' Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who previously held the No. 2 spot in Senate Republican leadership, told NBC News. 'I just frankly don’t understand this, you know, retrospective look,' he said. 'When it comes to running for president or any other office, people don’t want you to relitigate all your grievances in the past. They want to know what your vision for the future is. And so I don’t think it’s a formula for success.'"
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had an even blunter take on the issue: “January 6 was one of the worst days in American history. Everybody’s entitled to due process. If you’re trying to suggest that those who were involved in January the 6th are some kind of hero? No. There will be no effort on my part to whitewash January 6."
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During the same rally, Trump also proclaimed that he would "destroy the deep state," a reference to a longtime belief among the former president's supporters that the civil service effectively functioned as a shadow government countermanding Trump's orders when he was in office.
Analyists already condemned the rally even before it took place for Trump's choice of venue, which some theorized to be a nod to extreme anti-government militia groups, who use "Waco" as a rallying cry following the 1993 FBI siege of the Branch Davidian religious cult compound.